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Thread: Wichita Mountains

  1. #1
    OKCMann is offline Participating Member
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    Default Wichita Mountains

    Does Lawton do a damn thing to promote tourism? I mean come on! They have such a great assett in the Wichita Mountains! Do they do anything to promote themselves? Really?

  2. #2
    BailJumper is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Hmmm, maybe it's just me, but i don't get it. Exactly what is Lawton going to promote and where is all the money for promotion going to come from?

    The Wichita Mountains are not run by Lawton and they don't directly get any revenue from it. They are about 12 miles from the exit to the mountains. i've been hiking there dozens of times, but I never go in to Lawton and I doubt a significant number of visitors do.

    Medicine Park however does directly benefit from the wildlife refuge.

    And actually, the wildlife refuge is promoted in quite a few publications and some tourism commercials.

    You could attract millions more to the refuge and very few would venture into Lawton.

  3. #3
    wheeler is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    I think natural wonders become spoiled very quickly by "tourism." I personally don't want to watch buffalo while munching on a quarter pounder or gaze at the beautiful vistas through a maze of signs, tourists, and invitations to "see the Mystery Spot!" I've been very impressed by so much unspoiled natural beauty in this state. Took a while to find Heavener Runes-missed a sign or two. But the hunt was part of the fun! Ever been to the Wisconsin Dells? They promoted tourism. A perfect example of a natural wonder that has been totally spoiled. That's my two cents!

  4. #4
    Luke is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    The Wichita Mountains are beautiful...

    http://web.mac.com/swooshou/iWeb/Luk...Mountains.html

  5. #5
    HFK
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by wheeler View Post
    I think natural wonders become spoiled very quickly by "tourism." I personally don't want to watch buffalo while munching on a quarter pounder or gaze at the beautiful vistas through a maze of signs, tourists, and invitations to "see the Mystery Spot!" I've been very impressed by so much unspoiled natural beauty in this state. Took a while to find Heavener Runes-missed a sign or two. But the hunt was part of the fun! Ever been to the Wisconsin Dells? They promoted tourism. A perfect example of a natural wonder that has been totally spoiled. That's my two cents!
    I understand your reaction, but I've always thought such reactions ironic: YOU want to enjoy it, but you're not crazy about other people enjoying it.

    Ironic, yes, but understandable: 5 minutes in Yosemite Valley on any Saturday in July is all it takes to appreciate that sentiment...

  6. #6
    jbrown84's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by HFK View Post
    Ironic, yes, but understandable: 5 minutes in Yosemite Valley on any Saturday in July is all it takes to appreciate that sentiment...
    Haha I've been there and I agree. Personally, I love the Wichitas and love to show them off to people that are unfamiliar (most people that have grown up here have no idea they exist) and take them to Medicine Park and Meers, but I can't say there's any part of Lawton I'm keen on showing off. It's a pretty depressing town.

  7. #7
    OKCMann is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    but I can't say there's any part of Lawton I'm keen on showing off. It's a pretty depressing town.
    Unfortunately I would have to agree!

    I love the Wichitas and love to show them off to people that are unfamiliar (most people that have grown up here have no idea they exist)
    Yes, and that truly is a problem too. They are a well kept secret in many quarters!

  8. #8
    HFK
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    I've heard good things about the Museum at Ft Sill. Actually, I've considered spending a weekend down in that part of the state, just to drive around and get a feel for it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Definitely go to the Refuge, Medicine Park, Meers Restaurant, and the Holy City.

  10. #10
    Bobby H is offline Power Poster
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Currently there isn't a whole lot within the city of Lawton to attract lots of people from out of town. Norman and Wichita Falls have a greater variety of choice in shopping, restaurants and night life.

    Over the next few years that should change dramatically. Lawton's population is increasing dramatically because of massive BRAC expansion aboard Fort Sill. Much of the downtown area has been converted into a TIF district for the early stages of the Downtown Redevelopment project. Lawton will likely get some sort of new arena for concerts, conventions and certain sporting events. The question is who will build one first, the city or the tribes? Cameron University is undergoing a significant expansion with several important new buildings, including a $11 million student activities center.

    McMahon Memorial Auditorium gets some decent events there once in awhile, but not often enough. The venue is nice, but not big enough for certain performers. I was surprised when George Carlin gave a performance there. A few interested people are trying hard to keep the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra going. But it may dissolve and leave Tulsa with the distinction of having the only city orchestra in the state.

    The Museum of the Great Plains is pretty nice. They have some pretty interesting historical artifacts there. The museum also shows some good art exhibits from time to time.

    Elmer Thomas Park certainly isn't the greatest park, but it is a very good asset for Lawton. There's a 2.5 mile concrete bike path there that doesn't get used by nearly enough bicyclists. The park also has a gravel/dirt jogging path about the same length, with lights around the eastern half of the park. Other improvements are currently being made in the park, including the construction of a new amphitheater stage near Lake Helen. The park has lots of ducks and geese. The prairie dog town is popular. But it has overrun the park boundaries, expanding across the Armory grounds, all the vacant land around Ramada Inn and even into parts of the I-44/Cache Road/2nd Street interchange. It would seem that only an outbreak of bubonic plague could make a dent in the prairie dog town at this point.

    Although they're minor things, when it comes to hamburger's Wayne's Drive-Inn in Lawton is my first choice. The new location on the west side of town is nice. The Carmike theater next door offers some of the best movie going presentation quality you'll find in the entire state. All 8 screens are equipped for digital cinema. Oklahoma City still doesn't have a single D-Cinema equipped screen.

  11. #11
    muppetkiller is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Hush about the prairie dog town, Medicine Park and the refuge. I used to work at Meers and I played dumb about the cool stuff in OK. It was hard enough getting to work. Meers has a thousand people standing in line for a burger on Saturday and Sunday.

    All those people go out and hassle the buffalo, prairie dogs and the residents. I'm not really keen on sharing the cool spots. I told my customers the buffalo have secret spots and they git sick of tourists. (It's true!) I don't tell where the buffalo go. My customers could tip all they wanted. I don't tell on my buffalo and I don't give up my sacred spots.

    The tourists piss me off. Even my daughter has tormented the prairie dogs. There's no way I would take her to see buffalo. She couldn't behave herself. I have rubbed heads with longhorns and buffalo. I have a special rock, near a special tree. I sit up there quietly and the animals come to me. I've had conversations with the big buffalo who saunters down the highway. I love it when he does that! I can just wave at him and go on about my way.

    I don't wanna share my spots with other people.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    okay........

  13. #13
    namellac is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    I was down there with a friend, who had never been there, a few months back. A beautiful fall day, AND NOBODY THERE. Very nice. Had the Charon's Garden Bolder Field all to ourselves. I actually hadn't been down there in 25 years, and did a hike that I hadn't done in that long. It's good to see it hasn't changed much. I do wish they'd get the Old Plantation back open. I miss having those rolls.

    I took some video with my digital photo camera of our hike:
    YouTube - Adventure Hiking - Wichita Wildlife Refuge

  14. #14
    jbrown84's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    What's the Old Plantation?

  15. #15
    namellac is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    The Old Plantation was in Medicine Park. If I'm not mistaken, it was originally the State's first official "lodge" built back at the turn of the last century. In the 70's and 80's it was a restaurant, and served as a kind of a museum for the area. They served these home baked rolls that were about the size of a half-loaf of bread. They were a meal unto themselves. Honey and butter was all you needed.

    Medicine Park looks like it has turned upscale to some extent. Some nicer homes have been built along the river. Not as many "houses of a mobile nature".

    Medicine Park, Oklahoma

    I think it was the Old Plantation where I learned of the story of the Wichita's hidden treasure. I wonder if it's ever been found?

  16. #16
    CuatrodeMayo's Avatar
    CuatrodeMayo is online now Andrew Stewart
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Not that I know of...There was a book in the Metropolitan library system about treasure in Oklahoma, particularlly Jesse James treasure in the Wichitas.

    The refuge is by far and away my favorite place in OK (and I've been to alot).

  17. #17
    namellac is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    I thought the treasure was left by Spanish Conquistadors who thought the mountains might be getting worse so they put their valuables in a cave behind some steel doors. Wasn't Jesse James' over in Robbers Cave?

    Yea, I can't believe I hadn't been down there since High school. Definitely need to go down more often.

  18. #18
    CuatrodeMayo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Yes...I have heard of the Iron Door of the Wichitas.

    Robbers Cave was known as more of a hideout.

    Jesse James is thought to have buried a large treasure of sorts in the mountains. The book does have of account and pictures of the discovery of one clue from Jesse James...a kettle with a convant engraved, I believe.

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    CuatrodeMayo's Avatar
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  20. #20
    namellac is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Some other Interesting links
    Gold and Silver: Miners of the Wichitas

    And not entirely related but a neat find:
    http://digital.library.okstate.edu/o...7/oktdv7n2.pdf

  21. #21
    namellac is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Good finds! I may have to add those to my Christmas List.

    I was on the south side of Elk Mountain on my last trip, and have been through several canyons back in the day. I did see the Mine Shaft on the south side of Elk mountain. Pretty precarious as it went about 30 feet straight down and was filled with water. Certainly, somebody has found the Iron Door by now.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    There is a "cave" on Elk Mountain that is really just a passage under the boulders. I believe it is about a quarter mile long and sometime filled partially with water. There is a guidebook available that details several extremely adventurous hikes in the refuge that are off the official trails

  23. #23
    namellac is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Yep, I was in the cave at the Elk Mtn Bolder Field, although I don't think its a quarter-mile long though. The vid I posted earlier shows it.

  24. #24
    CuatrodeMayo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrown84 View Post
    There is a "cave" on Elk Mountain that is really just a passage under the boulders. I believe it is about a quarter mile long and sometime filled partially with water. There is a guidebook available that details several extremely adventurous hikes in the refuge that are off the official trails
    Could I get more info on these hikes or this guidebook?

  25. #25
    namellac is offline Participating Member
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    Default Re: Wichita Mountains

    http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges...huresmaps.html

    There are also maps available at the visitor center.

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